News / Middle East

Analysts Pessimistic About Syria Peace Conference

Analysts Pessimistic About Syria Peace Conferencei
X
November 27, 2013 12:08 AM
U.N. officials have announced that the first Syrian peace conference will be held January 22 in Geneva, although it is not clear which opposition groups will attend. Some Middle East analysts doubt the conference will produce a settlement for the nearly three-year-old conflict. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Meredith Buel
U.N. officials have announced that the first Syrian peace conference will be held January 22 in Geneva, although it is not clear which opposition groups will attend.  Some Middle East analysts doubt the conference will produce a settlement for the nearly three-year-old conflict.

For months, the United Nations has been trying to set up a peace conference but it has been delayed repeatedly due to disputes about which groups will be represented and under what conditions.
 
Meanwhile, fighting rages with more than 100,000 dead and nearly nine million driven from their homes.
 
The goal of the conference will be to establish a transitional governing body with full power over the military and armed groups fighting each other.
 
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sounded upbeat about the prospect.
 
“At long last and for the first time, the Syrian government and opposition will meet at the negotiating table instead of the battlefield,” said he.
 
But just one day after that announcement, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, General Salim Idriss, said that his group will not participate in the conference and that combat will continue, dashing hopes for a ceasefire. 
 
Charles Dunne, an analyst at Freedom House, sounded a note of skepticism.
 
“There’s too much bad blood, mistrust and violence on both sides to really create conditions for a real negotiated solution. So I just don’t see it going forward successfully,” said Dunne.
 
U.N. Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has led the negotiations for the peace conference and plans to forge ahead. He called it “a huge opportunity for peace that should not be wasted.”
 
But the pain on the ground continues in the aftermath of repeated government airstrikes.
 
And as government forces, aided by Hezbollah fighters, make gains in the war, analysts doubt Damascus is ready to bargain.
 
Jim Phillips of the Heritage Foundation says battlefield advances on the part of the military make concessions by Damascus unlikely.

“Well, I think the fact that the government appears to be resurging, undermines the chances the Assad regime will negotiate in good faith,” said Phillips.
 
Opposition groups have insisted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leave office as part of any settlement.  However, government officials say that will not happen.

Another strike against a successful peace conference is that rebel groups are now fighting each other.
 
Some al-Qaida linked fighters are controlling areas they have seized with the goal of establishing an Islamic government.
 
Charles Dunne sees the prospects as rather bleak.

“I’m pessimistic about the future of Syria. I don’t see an early end to the military conflict. I’m also increasingly pessimistic about the possibility of a peaceful solution that will result in a stable, democratic regime,” said Dunne.
 
The Syrian conflict began in March 2011 in the form of peaceful protests against Assad’s autocratic rule, but then evolved into the civil war, threatening the stability of its neighbors.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid